Feb 24, 2012

Early Reviewer Reviews, February 2012

Avalon Chronicles Volume 1: Once in a Blue MoonAvalon Chronicles Volume 1: Once in a Blue Moon by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, Emma Vieceli

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Background: When Aeslin was young her parents used to read her a story before bed, when all of a sudden one day her mom tells her no more stories and that her father is gone. Now as a teen, Aeslin discovers what actually happened, there is a mysterious book that her life is a part of and she begins her quest for her destiny in the book...

Review: I received this book as an advanced reader copy and really feel for the story line. I love anything that involves a book within a book. Aeslin is a teen girl who is learning about her family's interesting and abnormal history, and she is doing this by falling into a story...literally. The Avalon Chronicles Vol.1 is her first adventure to Avalon and it is easy to read, action packed, and the illustrations are beautiful and detailed. Aeslin is a wonderful character to follow and even though there is only a little dialogue we begin to learn a lot about the other characters in the story as well, Cassidy and Will.
Definitely recommend for all ages, esp. if you like graphic novels.

** ARC for NetGalley/ Oni Press-- Publication Date 3/21/2012**

Courtney Crumrin Volume 1: The Night Things Special EditionCourtney Crumrin Volume 1: The Night Things Special Edition by Ted Naifeh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Background: Courtney is a young girl forced to move into her creepy uncle's creepy house with her parents, who are oblivious to her woes about a new place. Once there, Courtney starts experiencing strange things around her. Volume 1 contains shorts about Courtney and her new life and the monsters helping her live in it.

Review: I am a huge fan of macabre, gritty, fairy tales, and Courtney Crumrin Vol 1 Special Edition is all of those things. I got this e-copy from NetGalley and read it almost immediately. The main character Courtney is wonderful, she is a loner, who won't take crap from anyone, she is sarcastic and at times almost even menacing. She takes it upon herself to learn about the monsters living in and around her uncle's home and uses them to her advantage when she needs to. These stories are creepy and funny. I saw some parallels to Coraline and the Lenore series...overall it was a great read. The art is also breathtaking.

**ARC for NetGalley/ Oni Press- Publication date 4/11/2012**

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Coming Soon: Review for The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQueen

Feb 17, 2012

Recent Reads Series

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Background: Clary is just an ordinary girl, or so she thought, then she began to see things that weren’t really there. A mysterious and very handsome boy takes an interest in her ability to see him when others cannot. Clary thinks she is witnessing a murder, when really these mysterious people are Shadowhunters who fight demons on earth to protect “mundanes” or human. The City of Bones is the first book in the Mortal Instruments series and has all the suspense, action, and romance a teen reader craves.

Review: This was a great story. Clary the main character is wonderful to follow; she is a confused teen with few friends and lives believing that her father has long been deceased. Throughout the story Clary makes realizations about herself and her life that form her character all too well. The romantic triangle between her, Simon (her best friend), and Jace (her new mysterious follower) is hilarious and full of sarcasm, drama, and confusion. I really enjoyed this read but was very upset at how this romantic involvement turns out, but I won’t spoil it.

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)City of Ashes, by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Background: Clary’s mother is in a coma after dealing with her insane father and menacing bad guy Valentine, and all she wants is for things to go back to normal. In this, the 2nd book in the Mortal Instruments series, Downworlder children are dying and Valentine must be up to it. The Shadowhunters are blaming Jace for all the bad things his father has been doing and to make matters worse, Clary’s best friend Simon is acting stranger than normal. All they can do is wait and hope that Valentine does not start all-out war with the Clave.

Review: I loved City of Ashes, so much more than City of Bones. Here we see the character development continue with the suspense and tension from book one, but so much more. I know it is weird, but I am coming to think that Jace and Clary should be together; all of the tension wouldn't/ couldn't be for nothing right? So cleaver though.

I think my only hang up was that the word incredulous/incredulously was used a lot..but I may just be weird about things like that. I really enjoyed the teenage tensions between Clary and Simon, Clary and Jace, and Simon and Maya...fun to read.

I am always a little sad when a book ends on a cliffhanger, but I knew it was a series so the next one is waiting for me. :)

City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Background: Clary and crew are planning to travel to the City of Glass to save her mother. Jace plots to leave Clary behind, making her illegally enter the city and getting Simon into a mess of trouble with the Shadowhunters. The Clave is trying to decide what to do about the Valentine situation that is on their heels and Clary and Jace learn about their pasts.

Review: I really liked this story line especially because of the Clary/ Jace developments, but I thought this was also the last book of a trilogy and I was misinformed. I think that the story line could have ended where it is. Again Clare uses the word incredulous all the time and it is bothersome, but there is also a lot less action in this book. They talk A LOT, and then once the action and war began the book was about over... I don't like when there is that much build up to a rather disappointing end.
I loved how Clare told us the pasts of Jace/Clary/Sebastian and how they were all linked together but I also felt like there were some wholes that I couldn't quite put a finger on.

I am interested to read the next installment to see how the story progresses further, since I believe this could have been the end...

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Feb 15, 2012

Recent Reads

Revelations, By Melissa de la Cruz
Background: Revelations continues the story of Schuyler Van Alen and the Blue Bloods as things start to explode around them. Schuyler is amidst a love triangle and cannot decide what she should do, Bliss is freaking out about blackouts and the horrible hallucinations that have been plaguing her, and Mimi is still bitchy. The Silver Blood threat has not weakened and Schuyler now has to live with the Force’s while Lawrence is off trying to find/ fight evil. The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger.

Review: I still can’t really get over how oblivious the characters are though. Schuyler/ Bliss/ Mimi, all have not put the pieces together nor do they talk to one another about the bigger issues in their lives. Even Schuyler forgets to tell Lawrence that the whole Conclave is in Rio!!! When she was told by them that their reason for going was to “save” Lawrence…. Why wouldn’t you bring up that point as you are getting scolded for showing up too? No clue, not a clue… I guess I will go through more of these to see how the story progresses but these characters need to get a clue and stop acting oblivious. 

Masquerade, Melissa de la Cruz
4 /5

 Blue Bloods, Melissa de la Cruz
Background: Blue Bloods are a secret, they do not exist...or do they? Schuyler Van Alen is a teenage loner, often the outcast of her peers. Suddenly, herself and some of her classmates are invited to join a very  prestigious club and around this time begin learning about their heritage. The Blue Bloods are a very important part of society and have been such since Plymouth. The book follows Schuyler, Mimi Force, and Bliss as they realize they are changing, and they are not sure if it is in a good way.
Review: This book was interesting. It is kinda two books in one, a history of Plymouth and Roanoke and then also a rich teen vampire drama...not sure if drama is thr right word, there really isn't too much suspense.
The book follows a few rich teens in New York, which I found interesting because it seems Schuyler is the main character. The plot begins with everyday things for (rich) teens, like clothing and cliques and then progresses into the history and Blue Blood lineage.
And I keep saying rich for a reason, de la Cruz uses most of her writing to explain the lavish houses, clothes, and lifestyles of these wealthy teens and their powerful families.
I didn't mind the over the top explanations of their wealth as much as that there should have been more plot instead... I look forward to continuing the storyline though, to see if this gets alleviated or whether their wealth is always at the forefront.

Feb 14, 2012

Early Reviewer Reviews 2011/2012

The Apothecary, By Maile Meloy 

Background: Janie is a young teenage girl in 1952, who has to more from LA to London with her parents. While there, she meets the apothecary and his son Benjamin. The apothecary soon turns up missing and the children believe that he has been kidnapped. Their goal is to find and save him from the mysterious people that have taken him. Janie and Benjamin uncover secrets and Benjamin learns more and more about this father’s profession and the weird things behind it.

Review: This is a spectacular book!!!

The Apothecary is written for young readers but the suspense and story line is so compelling I couldn't put it down. The story starts a little bit slow, Janie moves from Los Angeles to London with her mom and dad, she starts at a new school, and meets a boy named Benjamin. Benjamin wants to be a spy. While tagging along with Ben on his spying missions, Janie and Benjamin find that the Apothecary (Ben’s dad) is in trouble and has been kidnapped, progressing the story into a whorl of who-done-it and mysteries that surround the apothecary’s profession and his secrets…The story if full of suspense, secrets, danger, and more.
**ARC from Librarything, Publication date Oct 2011.**

Tempest, By Julie Cross
didn't like it didn't like it didn't like it /5

Background: Jackson and his girlfriend Holly are in love, they are a normal couple. Jackson soon realizes that in actuality he is anything but normal, instead he can jump through time and various versions of his life. One second he is with Holly and friends, and the next there are people coming after him and she lies dying in his arms….then he jumps. Jackson cannot seem to find his way back to the proper time and place, nor does he know if Holly will still be alive once he finds it.

Review: The characters are difficult to get a full grasp on, since there is so much jumping around in time. Jackson is the main character, which is refreshing for a teen love story- male point of view- only he is a little obsessive about his girlfriend. He has the ability to time travel and the rest of the novel involves time jumping, while he is trying to get back to the right time, and learning little by little about his background. Since Jackson is jumping all over the place/time, he is a very frustrated protagonist who does not stop to think about his reactions too often. Except when stopping to dwell on where Holly is and if she is alive in real time. All of this while fitting in a love story lost me a little.
This is the first of a trilogy- maybe it will make more sense through the series.

**ARC from Librarything, Publication date Jan. 2012